Arizona Gov. Ducey defies federal order to stop using COVID-19 money for anti-mask grants

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey says he plans to defy an order from the U.S. Treasury secretary telling him to stop using COVID-19 relief money on schools without mask mandates.

The governor had launched a multimillion-dollar grant program in August that gave families $7,000 vouchers if they wanted to move their kids to schools that don't require masks or COVID-19 vaccines.

The Treasury has warned Ducey to stop using COVID relief money for that purpose, but Ducey says the order is "federal overreach," claiming the vouchers provide kids and parents with choices.

"We have no plan to address what they're sending us," the Republican governor said. "That will be settled in court. We're going to give options to kids in Arizona and to families in Arizona - what we should be focused on now is getting kids caught up."

The Biden administration says Ducey is undermining efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

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